Simplify Your Life: Be Done with Old Failures

Blog. Woman. Thoughtful 2. 3.24If you're a second-guesser like me, you wonder why we keep replaying what we should have said or done. 

I got new insight the day I once again recited my failures--real and imagined--to my friend "Connie."

She interrupted me with, "Cut that out already!"

Then Connie smiled and told me how she stopped second-guessing herself. "Russ and I have three kids and we've moved around a lot. Early days I wasted too much time fretting about all the ways I coulda/shoulda/woulda been a better person.  

"If I bawled out my tale of woe to Russ, hoping for sympathy, he would hug me and say, 'Aww, just let it go, Hon. It's no big deal.' Most of the time he was right.  

"Still, I couldn't stop myself. Then another friend shared how she managed to stop dredging up times she wondered if she had said or done the wrong thing.   

"She said talking to herself helped. Every morning she spoke Philippians 4:6-7 aloud and asked God to help her live out those verses. Whenever old regrets taunted her, she deliberately turned her thoughts back to those verses. Little by little she gave up blaming herself for being like every other human being who ever lived: Imperfect."  

Finding help

Later I read those Bible verses more slowly and let them play in my mind--and heart. It sounds too simple, but I felt more at peace after that. Here's Philippians 4:6-7 from the NIV:   

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Even now, the hardest of all for me is to leave my burden with God, so this verse speaks to me too:

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.     Psalm 55:22  NIV

Forget overnight transformation 

By now I've relearned this lesson often and my perspective on life has changed. I spend way less time on useless replays. If I do start second-guessing myself, I turn to Philippians 4:6-7 to recover my calm and peace.  

These same verses from The Message paraphrase broaden our understanding of what the Apostle Paul meant:

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Be patient with yourself 

I long to tell you I am perfectly calm, day after day, but not yet. Still, I have changed.

Any time I catch myself replaying what is behind me I turn it over to my loving Father and say something like, "Sorry, I blew it again. Lord, help me leave the past in the past. Let me be done with all this angst."

Whenever the nagging thoughts resurface, I repeat the Philippians verses already mentioned and of course, Philippians 4:8:

Finally, brothers (and sisters,) whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.    ESV

Think on these things

Whatever else is happening--or not happening--in our lives, we can only find the good if we look for it and fix our thoughts on Jesus instead of ourselves. 

The bottom line, of course, remains the same. When we trust in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are forgiven for all our failures, all our sins. Period. 

That's why we can trust promises like Romans 8:28:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good.

Anytime we catch ourselves worn out from running on our mental  hamster wheel of regret, it's time to call a halt. For most of us, our failures in living are more likely an annoyance than a crisis. In other words, they are not worth all the drama.

Loving the adventure of life,  


September 27, 2021


  • Thanks for stopping by. Hope you'll find a bit of a heart-lift here and be blessed.
My Photo

To E-mail Lenore

  • Write me at [email protected]
    Please identify yourself. Write, "A Woman's View reader" on the subject line. (I delete mail from unknown senders.)

About "Godly Moms: Strength from the Inside Out"

  • Order my book, "Godly Moms"
    I packed this book with pointers drawn from life as a mother of four. Short, down-to-earth pieces that flow from life as a Christian mother of four. An easy, quick read anytime that will leave you stoked for your calling.